The competitors for the season 54 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Tasman Regional Final have been chosen.
The preliminary stages of the contest for Tasman have wrapped up, where 37 competitors battled it out over two District Contests (Tasman North and Tasman South) for one of the eight Regional Finalist spots.
The competitors are Archie Woodhouse, Phoebe Smailes and Andrew Allan – all Lincoln University students – dairy farmer and seasoned competitor Jonny Brown, PGG Wrightson Seed's Representative Ash Foley, Sam Smithers, George Dodson and Blair Anglesey.
They will go head-to-head at the Regional Final on Saturday 19th February 2022 in Lincoln, where only one person will win Tasman FMG Young Farmer of the Year and qualify for the Grand Final in July.
First-time competitor 19-year-old Phoebe Smailes is expected to give some of the older contestants a run for their money after coming runner up at the Tasman South District Contest.
At just 14 years old, she became the youngest female to ever run at a New Zealand open class dog trial, going on to win it and becoming the youngest person ever to take out a New Zealand open title.
"My biggest motive for these hobbies and involvements would hands down have to be my immediate family, especially mum and dad," she said.
"Both of them have been strong supporters in everything I do and I will forever be grateful for what opportunities they have and may continue to give me."
Regional Final Convenor and Darfield Young Farmer, Steph Kelly, says she's looking forward to focusing on making practical skills and challenges a big part of the Regional Final.
"My overall goal for the Tasman Regional Final is to put on a great practical day and evening show to bring the community together and get people off farm," she said.
"It is so important to get time off farm, especially with the adverse weather we’ve had year to date down here."
With an outstanding and passionate convening committee behind her, Kelly says she hopes to gain confidence in leading a team and getting to know more people across the rural sector.
New Zealand Young Farmers CEO Lynda Coppersmith says every year, the competition improves despite the tests that COVID-19 have provided.
“For season 54 we really want to test our competitors and see 'who's up for it'. We've already exceeded last year's entries across the country, despite the fact that entries for a number of district contests are still open," she said.
“All of our volunteers and conveners right across the country have created some incredible challenges so far, with Regional Final season expected to take that to another level.”
Hoping the country will have shifted to the COVID-19 Protection Framework by January, Coppersmith said all events would strictly follow the Government guidelines at the time.
Tasman South District Contest
1st Archie Woodhouse, Lincoln Young Farmers
2nd Phoebe Smailes, Lincoln Young Farmers
3rd Andrew Allan, Lincoln Young Farmers
4th Jonny Brown, Dunsandel Young Farmers
Tasman North District Contest
1st Sam Smithers, West Coast Young Farmers
2nd Ash Foley, Waimakiriri Young Farmers
3rd George Dodson, Lincoln Young Farmers
4th Blair Anglesey, Renwick Young Farmers
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